by Dolapo Adelana
A former President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has urged the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led government of Kaduna State to follow in the footsteps of the administration of Patrick Yakowa, who was known for his “statesmanship and nobility.”
The former Catholic Archbishop of Lagos State said the recent “tragic” events in Kaduna had shown the difference between the present regime and that of Yakowa.
Okogie said this in a piece titled, ‘Let There Be Peace in Kaduna’.
He said, “In June 2016, the administration of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State honoured the memory of late Governor Yakowa by renaming the Kafanchan General Hospital after him. But, there is a better way to honour his memory, and that is to continue his legacy of peace; of bridge building in a state that is getting more and more volatile.
“Those in the saddle of government in Kaduna State today must imitate Yakowa.”
The retired bishop stressed that “the recent tragic events in Kaduna cannot but make one recall the days when Patrick Yakowa was governor.”
He said even though Yakowa was a Christian, he related well with everyone.
Okogie noted, “In a country where many politicians either play the ethnic card or the religious card, exploiting the diversity in our land for the implementation of self-centred agenda, Yakowa would not be a player in the game of divide and rule; a game in which there are no winners; a game in which the one who divides and those he rules are losers.”
Okogie called on the Federal and Kaduna State governments to deal decisively with criminals.
He said, “This is no time to treat murderers with kid gloves, neither is it time for equivocation. The time has come for the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Kaduna State Government to live up to their primary responsibility by making the statement loud and clear that it is unlawful to kill a Nigerian; that no one should get away with murder in a truly democratic polity; in a country where there is respect for law and order.
“For the sake of our common humanity, and for the sake of our common citizenship, the government in Kaduna, and the government in Abuja, must rise to the occasion,” Okogie stated.